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Re: Post 3d) Classification of relas -Reply

From: Venkat Nagarajan (NAGARAVE_at_fin.gov.on.ca)
Date: Wed Jun 16 1999 - 17:08:11 PDT

Dear bhagavatas,

As a rationale and most perfect exposition on the nature of reality 
Vis'istAdvaita is composed of premises, definitions, and axioms; 
these are used to make draw rational conclusions.   Although, 
this structure is implicit, the keen student, who has a 
strong conviction, can easily make it out.  

Further, it is the most perfect explanation in the following 
sense:

Because that which is infinite cannot be described in 
perfection in the finite realm, no exposition on the nature 
of reality can be perfect.  However, Vis'istAdvaita
gives a thorough and meaningful explanation of the nature 
of reality based on rationale set of axioms and premises.  
Several mutually exclusive axiomatic explanations of the 
nature of reality can coexist, but only one can be truth !
Given this,  the choice will ultimately be based on faith. 
However, the validity of Vis'istAdvaita has ben confirmed 
by the Alvars and our great Acharyas who are nitya-muktas 
(who are not subject to the delusion from avidya-karma)  

Notes:

1. The statement that Vedas are beginningless (i.e., without author)
is a premise and not a dogmatic statement!  Premise is a key 
component of every sound theory.  This premise is rational, given
Vis'istAdvaita is an unbounded  philosophy (i.e., individual souls, 
matter and the process of creation and dissolution are also
beginningless.) 

A Dogma on the other hand does not have a rational basis.
I have already discussed examples of dogma in the post 
titled "Mutually Exclusive things cannot be equated", please 
refer to it.

2.  Advaita uses logic not known to man!.  
This is not a dogmatic statement! Since there are  
staunch advaitans that are members of this group 
I do not want to state the reasoning in public;
an outright dismissal of Advaita may not the best 
way to enlighten them of its short comings.
 
I will deal with the comment relating to idealism 
in the next post.

Adiyen,
Venkat
krishNArpaNam

>>> Mani Varadarajan <mani@be.com> 06/16/99 05:13pm >>>
Sri Venkat wrote:
> 2. the absurdity of equating Vis'istAdvaita with 
> dogma based theology or irrational idealistic or 
> atheistic philosophies. 

I look forward to reading what Sri Venkat has to say,
but I must point out that even Visishtadvaita is based
on dogma, at least in part.  It is axiomatic, for example,
that the Veda is a preterpersonal (apaurusheya), flawless 
statement of reality.  Visishtadvaitins will declare this
in no uncertain terms. Since no Vedantin of any stripe 
tries to prove this in its entireity, nor can they, the 
belief in the Veda has to be accepted as a dogma.

Having accepted this axiom, along with certain exegetical
principles (mImAmsA), however, the rest of the philosophy 
can be said to be logically provable.

Second, in many ways Visishtadvaita is as idealistic as
Advaita. Certainly Visishtadvaita does not propound cosmic
illusionism; but Ramanuja's description of the nature of
the self and religious knowledge very much tends toward
the idealistic.

Mani